Wisconsinconstituent state of the United States of America.
Wisconsin was admitted to the union as the 30th state on May 29, One of the north-central states, it is bounded by the western portion of Lake Superior and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the north and by Lake Michigan to the east. The state of Illinois lies to the south, and Minnesota and Iowa lie to the west and southwest, respectively.
Madisonin south-central Wisconsin, is the state capital. More than 12, years ago the area that is now Wisconsin was covered by enormous glaciers.
During the Wisconsin Glacial Stagewhen the ice sheet began to melt, it left behind scenic physical features, including outwash plains, terminal and kettle moraines, drumlins, eskers, and low-lying areas that became lakes. The economy of Wisconsin is diversified, with three major sectors concentrated in specific regions.
In the southern two-thirds of the state, a combination of favourable climate, soil, and topography makes possible dairy agriculture that allows Wisconsin to be the top producer of cheese in the country and one of the top producers of milk and butter. The sparsely settled northern evergreen-hardwood forest and lake country is a centre for tourism and recreational activity. Area 65, square milessquare km. Population 5,; est.
Wisconsin comprises six physical regions. The Northern Highland is a broad upland underlain by granitic bedrock.
The Lake Superior Lowland is a narrow plain to which the surface of the Northern Highland drops abruptly. The upland slopes down gently southward to the Central Plain, or Central Sand Plain, a crescent-shaped region on sandstone stretching across the centre of the state. The Western Upland lies in the southwest corner of the state and is etched into ridges and valleys by streams that cut into the limestones and sandstones.
Glaciers largely bypassed the southwestern and western sections of the state along the Mississippi; this dry upland is known as the Driftless Area. Finally, the Eastern Ridges and Lowlands region is formed by three broad, parallel limestone ridges running north-south and separated by wide and shallow lowlands.
The lowest elevation in the state is in this region, along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, about feet metres above sea level. Distinctive geographic formations include the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior; the rocky Door Peninsula between Lake Michigan and Green Bay ; the broad gorges of the Mississippi and lower Wisconsin rivers, cut to feet 90 to metres below the general surface; ancient mountain remnants such as the Baraboo Range, Rib Mountain, and the Gogebic Range; the Kettle Moraine area west of Milwaukee; the narrow sandstone river gorge known as the Wisconsin Dells ; and the sandy beaches of Lakes Michigan and Superior, which also have spectacular rocky shorelines.
Wisconsin is one of the few states in which essentially all drainage is outflowing. The principal river is the scenic, island-studded Wisconsin River, miles km long, which originates on the Michigan boundary and flows southward to near Madison, where it skirts the Baraboo Range before turning west to cross the Western Upland and enter the Mississippi near Prairie du Chien.
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A system of reservoirs regulates its flow. Untamed rivers include the upper St. The lower St. Croix was deated a national scenic riverway by the U. Department of the Interior. Northern Wisconsin, with a section of neighbouring Minnesota, has one of the largest concentrations of lakes in the world. Wisconsin has nearly 15, inland lakes of more than 20 acres 8 hectaresfor a total of more than 1, square miles 4, square kmyet only one-fifth of these lakes are accessible to the public because of restrictions by private property owners. The largest is Lake Winnebago square miles [ square km] in the Fox River valley.
Wisconsin has about miles km of shoreline along Lake Michigan and some miles km along Lake Superior. There are also thousands of streams throughout the state; streams and lakes may be frozen from December to mid-April, however.
The best soils for agricultural use are the black prairie soils and gray-brown forest soils of the Eastern Ridges and Lowlands and the Western Upland; these coincide rather well with the areas having the warmer and longer growing seasons.
Soils less favourable for agricultural use are found in the predominantly forested regions of the Northern Highland and the Central Plain. But through the use of irrigation, drainage, and fertilization, even some of these soils have been made highly productive for special crops of vegetables, potatoes, and cranberries. On the steep slopes of the Western Upland, contour plowing and strip cropping of corn maize and hay reduce soil erosion, and in the Central Plain the sandy soils are protected from wind erosion by shelter belts of trees around fields and farmste.
The Great Lakes ameliorate both summer and winter temperatures along their margins. The length of the growing season diminishes westward and northward, from about six months in the southeast—where the best soils are found—to about three months in parts of the Northern Highland.
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Annual rainfall averages about 30 inches mmthe bulk of it occurring between May and October. Snowfall varies from about 30 inches in the south, with an day snow cover, to approximately 50 or 60 inches 1, to 1, mm in the north, with a day snow cover near Lake Superior. Forests once covered more than four-fifths of the state, with the remainder in prairies and wetlands.
Most of the forests were cleared for lumber and agriculture, but by natural regrowth and reforestation about two-fifths of Wisconsin is again forested, most heavily in the Northern Highland and Central Plain. Second-growth hardwood trees include maple, birch, oak, aspen, elm, basswood, and ash.
Evergreens include white, red, and jack pine, hemlock, balsam fir, black spruce, white cedar, and tamarack. White-tailed deer, foxes, cottontail rabbits, skunks, woodchucks, squirrels, chipmunks, and gophers are common in all areas. Black bears, coyotes, wolves, porcupines, beavers, otters, snowshoe hares, and eagles live primarily in the north. In the s gray wolves were reintroduced but have since been listed as endangered.
Arrival of the first europeans | wisconsin historical society
Pheasants are prevalent in southern farming areas. Waterfowl are abundant, and migratory Canadian geese by the thousands visit refuges twice annually. The numerous fish types include panfish as well as various trout species, bass, walleye, northern pike, muskellunge, and sturgeon.
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By Ingolf K. Seal of Wisconsin. See all media.
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Capital: Madison Show more Population: 5,; est. Show more Governor: Tony Evers Democrat Show more Date Of Admission: May 29, Show more U. Show more. Full Article. Holstein-Friesian cows on a farm in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin: a very brief history | wisconsin historical society
Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now. Green Bay, near the city of Sturgeon Bay, Wis. Wisconsin River at Stevens Point, Wis. Strip-cropping, in which a close-growing crop is alternated with one that leaves a considerable amount of exposed ground, is one technique for reducing erosion; the soil washed from the bare areas is held by the closer-growing vegetation.
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